What to Expect At Your Lifestyle Newborn Session - Jen Zav Photography

What to Expect At Your Lifestyle Newborn Session

So what exactly is a lifestyle newborn session?

Well let's start with what it is not. When you think of newborn photos what may come to mind are the styled images: a sleeping baby perfectly posed in a basket wrapped in a beautiful swaddle accompanied by a little hat or headband. Or perhaps the few days old baby is naked with their little bum in the air and hand resting under their chin.

Lifestyle newborn photos, on the other hand, are more true to life (read: you are not hanging out with a naked newborn!) These may be ones where mom is sitting in the nursery looking down at her baby. Or siblings are gathered round checking out their new brother or sister. Or the baby is simply sleeping in the crib. Maybe the family dog even comes to sit in for a picture with the newly expanded family. 

Why I only shoot lifestyle newborn sessions

In early 2017 I invested in an online training series for newborn photography. One of the instructors asked, "If newborn photography didn't exist as the genre you know today how would you photograph a newborn? Would you wrap them up and pose them?"

Huh.

I had been doing a mix of styled and lifestyle. I realized I had been including the styled ones because that's just what I though I was supposed to do. I invested in lots of gear and accessories. I studied and practiced getting a sleeping baby posed in just the right position. And while they yielded some pretty pictures the ones that really spoke to my heart were the lifestyle ones. Those were the ones where I felt a real emotional connection. At the end of the day, those are the ones that are most important to me.

(I should say this though: styled photos take a great deal of talent and can be beautifully artistically done. They're just not for me.) 

The good stuff...

How does it all work?

The session takes place in the comfort of your own home. No need to worry about getting everyone out the door on time and packing up the diaper bag. Plus, this is the perfect backdrop because it will include all your personal touches like the nursery, for example, that will add to your story through pictures.

It can take up to 3 hours from start to finish. It may be shorter but I like to include enough time to allow for all the things that come with newborn life: feeding, diapering, soothing, snack breaks, etc.

Before I get there...

I'll ask you to hide the clutter. Let me be clear: I do NOT expect your home to be spotlessly clean! What I suggest is a general tidy-up. This will help keep the focus on the most important thing - your family!

Crank up the heat a bit. Babies tend to be most comfortable when they are nice and warm.

When I arrive...

I'll ask to take a little tour of your home so I can scope out the best rooms for lighting.

Depending on the layout I may ask to move some things like tables or chairs  around to achieve the best angles and lighting. (Don't worry, I won't completely rearrange your stuff and it will all go back as it was!) 

Once we settle in I will give you some gentle direction. For example, I may ask you to all sit on the couch and look down at the baby, then at me. I'll also continue snapping as you move around naturally, catching some candid moments.

What if my baby is fussy?

I know things can get stressful when you’ve got a fussy baby or a toddler who won’t cooperate. It’s okay! I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it. And we can work through it. Just remember that others, especially the little ones, will feed off of your energy so try to stay calm and keep it positive.

What should we we wear?

Choose clothes that make you feel good and comfortable, that reflect your personal style and who you are in real life. I would suggest avoiding big text or logos though, as that can distract from faces. For the baby a simple onesie or swaddle will work wonderfully.

How do we pick my session date?

Your session can be scheduled for any time in the first 3 months of baby's life. The best time to book a session is when you are still pregnant. Bookings are based on the number of slots I have available for the month to allow flexibility for the actual date of arrival. Once you have you slot secured I ask that you contact me within the first 5 days of birth to set the day and time. 

What's included?

In 2-3 weeks following the session you will receive 15-20 edited high res digital photos. They will be delivered via password protected online gallery. A print release is also provided. As an optional add-on I offer professional grade prints and products such as canvases and thin wraps. For the latest price list please send a request to: jenzavphotography@gmail.com

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